This guide will cover Taiwanese hot spring etiquette and what they are. I’ll also talk about the most noteworthy geothermal springs to visit throughout the country.
I’ve visited several hot springs in Taiwan throughout my 5 years here. I want to help you determine whether it’s worth adding hydrothermal springs to your itinerary. So I compiled a bunch of information.
- Hot springs are geothermal springs that are great for relieving pain.
- You’re allowed into Taiwanese hot springs if you have tattoos.
- Beitou is the most popular hot springs in Taiwan.
- Many hot springs are in hot springs hotels.
What Are Taiwanese Hot Springs?
Taiwan hot springs—also known as geothermal or hydrothermal springs—are when geothermally heated groundwater reaches the Earth’s surface. As a result, many areas throughout Taiwan offer areas for guests to bathe and soak.
Studies suggest thermal water bath therapies from hot springs can help alleviate chronic pain and provide treatment for some joint-related diseases .
Many variations of hot springs exist. And they’re as follows:
- Mud springs: a mud bath
- Hydrogen or salt sulfide springs: has salt or hydrogen in the water
- Sodium carbonate springs: alkaline springs
- Sulfur springs: contains 2.0 mg of sulfur or more
- And it smells like rotten eggs
- Ferrous springs: water contains 20 mg of iron or more
- Sodium hydrogen carbonate springs: includes a large amount of sodium bicarbonate
If you’re familiar with Japan’s onsens, they aren’t the same. Many use onsens to describe hot springs, but they’re different. The former is heated water with added minerals. And the latter are springs that produce their own geothermically heated water.
When visiting hot springs, you’ll find different setups like:
- Public mixed sex (大眾池): men & women share pools
- Private rooms (湯屋): get a pool to yourself
- Segregated pools (男湯/女湯): share a pool with your gender
Research the type of hot springs pool or room before visiting. And figure out what kind of attire you’ll need.
There are also wild hot springs. These don’t require entry into buildings, but are hard to find unless in an aboriginal village. If you befriend indigenous Taiwanese people, see if you can relax with them in a hot spring.
Taiwan Hot Springs Etiquette
Remember this etiquette when visiting hot springs in Taiwan:
- Don’t sit on the side of the pool with only your feet in the water
- Don’t rest your feet over the side of the hot spring
- Wear slippers between pools: to avoid bringing debris into pools
- Wear swimming hats at mixed-sex pools: prevents your hair from shedding into the water
- Avoid public display of affection (PDA): Taiwanese don’t care for it
- Stay in the hot springs for 15 min. at a time
- You can return at least 3 times
- Don’t take photos or record videos of anyone: respect people’s privacy
To ensure you have good etiquette, follow these steps to use a hot spring:
- Wash: sit on a low stool & clean yourself
- Rinse: use a bucket to rinse yourself
- Bathe: relax in the hot spring
- Shower: clean the hot spring mess off your body
- Drink: replenish yourself with a drink
Before bringing kids to a hot spring, figure out the attire. And ask the staff whether they allow kids. Because some old folks don’t believe kids should enter hot springs, which results in such rules.
Unlike Japan, the Taiwanese don’t care whether you enter hot springs with tattoos. I have tattoos and visited hot springs in Taiwan. No one cared.
If you’re using a private hot spring, hotel staff will usually call you when your time is almost up. So don’t ignore calls.
Whatever hot spring you visit, you’ll want to ask the staff whether you should wear a bathing suit. Ask them in English first. If they don’t speak any, say the following Mandarin phrase, “ 需要穿泳衣嗎 (xu yao chuan yong yi ma?).”
Or just show the staff the Chinese I wrote.
Who Shouldn’t Use Hot Springs?
Avoid using hot springs under these conditions:
- If you’re pregnant
- You have open wounds
- During a menstrual period
- You have high blood pressure
- After eating a lot
- You have heart issues
- Drinking any alcohol
- You have an infectious disease
9 Best Taiwan Hot Springs
The following posts will provide details on the following best hot springs throughout Taiwan:
Keep reading to find your next hot spring.
1: Beitou Hot Springs, Taipei
|Best Pool to visit||Beitou Public Hot Springs|
|Address||No. 6號, Zhongshan Rd, Beitou District, Taipei City, 112|
|Hours||5:30–7:30 AM,8–10 AM,10:30 AM–1 PM,1:30–4 PM,4:30–7 PM,7:30–10 PM|
Beitou is Taiwan’s most famous hot spring. It’s accessible by taking the Taipei Metro Red line to Beitou Station. Then transfer to Xinbeitou Station.
Upon reaching Xinbeitou, you’ll see a park and an excellent area to explore. I’ll cover various other things to do in a second.
You’ll find many hot spring hotels, public hot springs, food stalls, and more throughout the area. Meaning you have plenty of options.
I don’t have kids. Meaning, I can’t provide the best option. However, I’ve heard Spring City Resort (北投春天酒店) may work well. And if you’re looking for a top-notch money-burning experience, go for Gaia Hot Spring Resort.
While in Beitou, check out these other spots:
- Thermal Valley: a giant spring covered in mist
- Beitou Hot Spring Museum: explore Beitou’s history
- Beitou Park: a nice place to stroll
- Plum Garden: a museum that was home to Yu Youren (calligrapher)
- Hand- & foot-soaking pool: free ways to experience Beitou
2: Guguan Hot Springs Park, Taichung
|Best Pool to visit||The Sun Hot Spring Resort|
|Address||406, Taichung City, Beitun District, 東山路二段光西巷78號|
|Cost||$150–$200 a night|
Before soaking in the springs, hike in the Dakeng Scenic Area in Taichung’s outskirts. It has 10 trails:
- 1–4: considered the steepest & longest
- 5: connects the previous trails & provides access to lookouts
- 6–10: not as steep & shorter
You’ll want to turn hiking the trails and soaking in the springs into a day trip. If hiking isn’t your thing, consider one of the following other scenic spots:
- Cultural Museum of Hot Spring
- Shaolai Suspension Bridge
- Guguan Suspension Bridge
- A thousand-year-old Taiwan pine tree (at the Utopia Holiday Hotel
3: Wulai Hot Spring, New Taipei
|Best Pool to visit||Volando Urai Spring Spa & Resort|
|Address||No. 176號, Section 5, Xinwu Rd, Wulai District, New Taipei City, 233|
|Cost||$500+ a night|
I love Wulai. Aside from Beitou, it’s my favorite hot spring. There’s Wulai Old Street, a fantastic place to find food and millet wine from the Ayayal aboriginal tribe.
Otherwise, you’ll find nearby activities and scenic sites like:
- Wulai Log Cart: .099 mi (1.6 km) locomotive cart that carries you through Wulai
- Wulai Waterfall: gaze at the 80-meter-high waterfall
- Wulai Atayal Museum: great place to learn about Atayal culture
- Cable car: carries you to the Yun Hsien Resort
The recommended resort is PRICEY. But the hotel is worth it for a top-tier experience.
Otherwise, there’s the Wulai Shui An Hot Springs for around $122 a night. The local government took down the public hot springs, the only budget-friendly way to get a soak.
4: Jiaoxi Hot Springs, Yilan
|Best Pool to visit||Art Spa Hotel|
|Address||No. 6號, Deyang Rd, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County, 262|
|Cost||$150+ a night|
You’ll find various hot springs in this area. There’s a free one, Tang-wei-gou Park, but it’s a foot-soaking pool.
I couldn’t find many activities nearby besides the Paoma Historic Trail. But if you stay somewhere like the Art Spa Hotel, you could spend a while here. It has hot tubs everywhere and an interesting hot water slide.
Though, that sounds a bit painful.
5: Tai’an Hot Spring, Miaoli
|Best Pool to visit||Onsen Papawaqa|
|Address||365, Miaoli County, Tai’an Township, 圓墩58號|
|Cost||$350 a night;Or NT$800 for a public pool|
Other than hot springs, there’s Mt. Manabang. It’s around a 2.5-hour hike that’ll take you through a thick forest to a peak that’ll give you a great view of the Dahu Township.
Or pick strawberries at strawberry farms.
6: Dongpu Hot Spring, Nantou
|Best Pool to visit||Tong Pu Hotel|
|Address||556, Taiwan, Nantou County, Xinyi Township, 開高巷70之2號|
|Cost||$50 a night|
Dongpu Hot Spring sits in Yushan National Park. While in this area, consider visiting the following:
- Dongpu Suspension Bridge
- Rainbow Falls: a steep hike from the Hot Springs area
- Batongguan Ancient Trail: 4-hour round trip hike
- Eat plums: Dongpu is famous for its plums
7: Guanziling Hot Springs, Tainan
|Best Pool to visit||Water Fire Cave (水火同源)|
|Address||Address: No.18, Guanling Village, Baihe Dist.|
The name “Water Fire Cave” comes from the natural gas that emerges from the cliffside walls. And once they ignite, the flames never fade. Meanwhile, the cliff’s cracks gush water into the springs.
It’s considered one of Taiwan’s seven scenic spots. But it’s a pain to reach. You’ll likely need an Uber or taxi. Or to rent a car. It appears tour buses can reach this spot as well.
Due to the way the cave is set up, you may want to avoid bringing kids here. This hot spring works best for solo travelers, couples, and buddies who need somewhere to relax.
8: Sichongxi Hot Springs Park, Pingtung
|Best Pool to visit||Sichongxi Public Hot Spring Bath|
|Address||No. 1, Wenhua Rd, Checheng Township, Pingtung County, 944|
|Hot spring type||Nude/segregated|
|Hours||6 AM–10 PM|
Sichongxi is one of the few hot springs not tucked in the mountains. It’s near the coast. It’s clear and carbonated water that reaches 131–140 °F (55–60 °C).
Also, visit the park surrounding the springs. There’s a temple where visitors can pray to the medicine god, Japanese architecture to admire, or ride the merry-go-round.
Some consider it Taiwan’s most romantic hot spring. Why? During Japan’s occupation, the emperor’s younger brother visited Sichongxi and brought his wife there for a honeymoon.
After falling head over heels for the springs, he transformed the springs into an area with a romantic atmosphere. Just look at all the romantic colors used in the area’s design.
9: Zhiben Hot Spring, Taitung
|Address||Cheng-Ping Hot Spring Inn|
|Hot spring type||Private|
|Cost||$100 a night|
Not too much to say. But it’s an area to visit if you’re in Taitung.
While in the area, check out the Zhiben National Forest Recreation Area. It’s not the most exciting area, unless you brave the Tough Man Slope. It’s a 490 ft (150 m) deep slope that’s worthy for people to call a test of strength.
Maybe you could visit here, then relax afterward in the geothermal springs.
Taiwan Hot Springs Map
Read these FAQs about Taiwan’s hot springs.
Can you Visit Public Hot Springs with Tattoos in Taiwan?
You can enter hot springs in Taiwan with tattoos. Taiwanese people don’t care whether you have ink.
What Do You Wear to Hot Springs in Taiwan?
Whether you wear clothing at all depends on the hot springs you visit. Check the rules before visiting. In some scenarios, you’ll wear bathing suits. In others, you’ll wear nothing.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Hot Springs in Taiwan?
December through February are the best times to visit hot springs due to the colder weather.